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Woodbury native grabs spotlight in VH1 reality TV show

David Collins will be on the Saddle Ranch, a VH1 reality show about Hollywood talent trying to make a living.

Like many aspiring actors, David Collins left cold, snowy Minnesota to pursue a career in show business.

The 2005 Woodbury High School graduate moved to California a little over a year ago, where he went on audition after audition, applied for job after job, to be able to pay the bills until something better came along.

"I probably applied for like 60 different jobs," he said.

Until one day. The last job he applied for, and the one he landed, was at the Saddle Ranch, a restaurant/bar located on the Sunset Strip. Little did he know he'd be pursuing a reality television gig that would get his face out there enough to get the exposure he wants.

The show, "Saddle Ranch," will premier on VH1 at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, April 17, featuring Collins and a group of young Los Angeles hopefuls trying to make a living while pursuing their Hollywood dreams.

"In a nutshell, we are one big dysfunctional family," Collins said.

The former Woodbury resident still has relatives locally and all around the east metro who will be tuning in to find out how the show, centered around the restaurant, will turn out.

The promo says it all: Be prepared for fights, backstabbing, wild parties and lots of drama.

"I love the cast," Collins said. "We're just so unique and so diverse."

From a hairstylist to a dancer, the actor hoping to become the next big star, to the bartender who's eager to run his own business someday, the cast is filled with different, yet similar personalities.

The show has been in the works for months, filming at the restaurant and following the characters around. It wasn't a go for sure until the producers started planning for a pilot.

Collins wasn't sure he wanted to be on the show either and started thinking "Do I want to do reality, or be a serious actor?"

So he declined to shoot the pilot.

But he regretted it when he saw his co-workers at the bar filming and having fun.

Combined with a tough time trying to land serious acting jobs, he was disappointed.

"I kind of hit a rut with acting and auditions were slow," he said.

In October, as Collins was thinking about the show, he got a call from one of the producers who told him the pilot got picked up by VH1 and there was still a chance for him to be on it.

"Do I want to do reality, or do I want to opt out again?" he thought.

He needed the comfort of home so he called mom in Woodbury who advised him to go for it.

The cast was then finalized with Collins as a member. That was a good thing, he said with a laugh, because he had already bragged to people that he'd be on the show.

Before finalizing the cast though, producers interviewed a number of different Saddle Ranch employees from various locations around the country.

"The Sunset one is smaller than the Universal City location, but it's right on the Hollywood strip," Collins said.

Plenty of celebrities stop in at the Saddle Ranch to hang out and it's also a central location for some addictive Hollywood nightlife scenes.

"And there is always drama, especially with the girls," he said.

Currently the cast is shooting commentary that will air during various episodes of the show.

Although being a reality star wasn't always in the cards for Collins, he said the Saddle Ranch is a fun way to get started before moving on to the next level.

"I feel like I've been out in L.A. for a year and nothing really huge has come along," he said. "By doing this and by being on VH1, it's gonna put my face out there and give me exposure."

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.